Home Asean News 74th Independence Day of Indonesia

74th Independence Day of Indonesia

The Indonesian national flag is raised during the ceremony to mark the 74th Independence Day of Indonesia in Jakarta, Indonesia, Aug. 17, 2019. (Xinhua/Zulkarnain)

Independence Day in Indonesia is a patriotic public holiday every 17 August to celebrate the foundation of Indonesia as an independent nation. It is also referred to as Hari Merdeka.

Dancers perform during the ceremony to mark the 74th Independence Day of Indonesia in Jakarta, Indonesia, Aug. 17, 2019. (Xinhua/Zulkarnain)

Prior to 1945, Indonesia was a colony of the Netherlands. When Japan began to expand, Japanese leaders decided to support an independence movement in Indonesia to drive the Netherlands out of its sphere of influence.

The Official Ceremony at Merdeka Palace.
The pinnacle celebration commemorating Independence Day is held on the morning of the 17th August at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta, facing the National Monument. The highlight will be the moment when the Declaration of Independence is read out, that was first proclaimed by Soekarno-Hatta at precisely 10am. This is followed by the flag ceremony carried by the Paski-braka, a special flag bearing and flag raising group, recruited from among the brightest eligible students in high school throughout the country. They spent months in training and quarantine, to be able to perform flawlessly during the official ceremony in front of the President and honored guests. A similar ceremony is held at sunset to lower the Indonesian red-and-white flag.
(Photo source: www.nasional.republika.co.id)

Achmed Sukarno and Muhammad Hatta collaborated with the Japanese military to reclaim Indonesia from the Dutch government. When Japan surrendered to the United States in 1945, Sukarno and Hatta feared that their window of opportunity was closing.

Pitching the Flag on Indonesia’s highest peaks and In the Deep Sea
In the regions, similar ceremonies are held, In addition, rock climbing communities make it a challenge to raise the Indonesian flag on the highest peaks of the numerous Indonesian volcanoes and mountains, while diving communities will dive deep underwater into pitch the huge red-and white-flags in the Indonesian seas.(Photo source: www.m.tempo.co)

On 17 August 1945, Sukarno announced the Proclamation of Indonesian Independence. In Indonesian, the proclamation is known as Proklamasi Kerdekaan Indonesia. Soon after the announcement of the proclamation, Sukarno and Hatta used Japanese weapons and equipment to revolt against the Dutch government in Indonesia.

The Dutch were initially driven out of Jakarta, but reinforcements ensured that fighting would continue until 1949. Weary of bloodshed, the United Nations blocked the Netherlands’ ambitions to go to war by calling for diplomatic measures. After ten weeks of tedious debates, Indonesia was granted its independence and Dutch forces withdrew from East Asia. In August 1949, the United States of Indonesia was founded.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo (L) presents the national flag to a student during the ceremony to mark the 74th Independence Day of Indonesia in Jakarta, Indonesia, Aug. 17, 2019. (Xinhua/Zulkarnain)